Welcome to the online diary of the “London Ziegs,” as they journal their experiences relocating from the balmy climes of sunny Orlando, Florida to the more chaotically cosmopolitan environment of London, UK!

Friday, November 14, 2008


This morning the four of us finally arrived in the UK, and are set to begin this grand adventure which arguably entered planning as early as 2005. However, before we lift our gaze to the bright and exciting vista before us, we need to take a long and appreciative look at the long and convoluted path which got us here.

In particular, we wish to send a sincere and heartfelt "shout out" to the many friends, family, co-workers, and often complete strangers who carried and supported us so far down that road. To put it bluntly, this proved a mammoth undertaking with intertwined complexities far beyond anything we had initially scoped, and to which our own meager resources would have quickly proved disastrously and ludicrously inadequate. Like King Yertle of yore, we gained this rare clime upon the backs of dozens of willing, self-sacrificial supporters who gave freely of their time and energy to push us over each of the interminable obstacles that cropped up to block our way.

I would especially like to thank the following friends, without whom we could never have achieved this long-sought goal:
  • Stacey Jones of the Capital University Registrar's office, who flexibly fielded some decidedly odd verification requests from the UK;
  • Emily Roebke of our credit union, who risked carpel tunnel by tirelessly signing her way through reams of evidentiary bank statements;
  • Becky Hopper, Cliff Willis, Scott Nix, and Doug Esham of General Dynamics, who wrestled willingly with contentious corporate policies in order to generate the documentation required by the UK Home Office;
  • Ashley Flemming of fastUKpermit, who saved me from my own laziness by making me re-sign and re-scan every document again...and again...and again, until each was perfect :-)
  • Rachel Siegel of Intercontinental Visa Service, who helped get our entry clearance visas turned-around in record time;
  • Evelith Garcia, Suzanne Rummel, Tom Phelps, and the sixth-grade team of Narcoossee Community School, as well as the many teachers who contributed texts and resources for our "home schooling" experiment;
  • Natalie Leask of Sterling Relocation for helping with our Maidenhead housing search;
  • Cristina Santiago of DAS Auto Shippers for helping to get our van overseas;
  • Tracey Kinsella, Hannah Welsh, and Kim Anderson of Amazon for helping with my relocation and hiring details;
  • Viola Bernatovic of BridgeStreet for helping to arrange our temporary housing in Maidenhead;
  • Doctors Ahmed and Quinonez for helping to pull together patient records for overseas delivery;
And most especially:
  • Elisa Guillermo-Portillo, who helped coordinate all aspects of the relocation from Graebel, graciously saving us from own ignorance;
  • Pamela Norring, who has helped send countless Amazonians on missions throughout the world, sharing her broad experience in international transfers, sympathizing with the many unexpected frustrations incurred, and providing a gratifying well of resiliance and determination to succeed;
  • Ben Ellis and Nic Rutterford of Amazon.co.uk, for being willing to take on (and realize) considerable schedule risk in order to accommodate the meandering timetableof a wayward Yank who could never quite determine when he might manage to report to work;
  • our friends John, Lara, and Harry Zielinsky, who accepted a new canine companion into their household to the considerable relief of our boys; and finally,
  • my parents Pete & Judy Zieg, who helped refine our relocation plans by constructively criticizing them with such passion that you almost felt they wanted us to fail :-), yet nonetheless allowed us to crash in their house for a week after our own home had been packed and released to the renters.
This has been a collective effort from start to finish, and we sincerely thank all those who helped to make it happen!

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